Protecting Secrets

Unlocking a phone, computer, or other devices by scanning your fingerprint or smile can be convenient. It's also much less protected. On a practical basis it's easier for a cop or anyone else to simply point your phone at your face or place your thumb on the scanner than for them to force you to say your password. But that's not the only issue with Face ID and fingerprint locks.

The rights protected by the Fifth Amendment are slowly crumbling away, but the right to not self incriminate by issuing a password to the cops is typically protected. Fingerprints and face scans are not given the same protections. There have already been multiple states that don't offer face scans and fingerprints the same protections as passwords. California splits from this precedent and recently ruled that fingerprints and face scans are protected just like passwords.

Nevada has little precedent on when the cops may force someone to unlock their phone. Until Nevada makes a decision it may be best to remove your Face ID and fingerprint locks and switch to the safer option of a text based password. Also if this topic is important to you - and it probably should be - let your legislators know that you are not okay with the deterioration of the Fifth Amendment.